If you think you could just buy a fancy coop for your urban chickens, you have not explored the full accessorizing possibilities. Now you can get diapers for your birds! From the WSJ:
Ruth Haldeman began adopting pet chickens in 2002. “I wanted fresh eggs, but I found that chickens are like peanuts, you can’t have just one,” she says. Before long, Ms. Haldeman had founded ChickenDiapers.com in Hot Springs, Ark.
“Everyone was talking about how there was a need for diapers,” she says, given that chickens typically can’t be potty trained. “Oh, lord, what a mess they make.” Ms. Haldeman, who is also a full-time chemist, designed a chicken diaper with a replaceable liner.
I would like to see a Venn diagram of how the diapered chicken community and the diaper-free children community overlap. The diagram would be a chicken butt and a baby butt, touching.
Note: If you appreciate the awesomeness of this image, click on it to see the back view, complete with tailfeathers.
I’m so psyched I found this! Jeffrey Vallance is a completely rad artist, if you don’t know who he is, you should read up on him and buy every book you can and go see his shows. Before he made it big, he did a show at the Los Angeles Museum of Art. He dressed up like a janitor and went in and replaced all of the light plates and electrical outlets with ones that he had painted on, then stood out in front of the museum and handed out guides to his show.
Not only does he have a deadly sense of fun, he is also super nice. Back when I was a punk-rock zinester, we wanted to write about him and he and his gallery owner (Margo Leavin) were so kind to us and treated us like serious art critics, with a private viewing and a big interview even though he was even then a pretty famous guy. I never knew he was on Letterman, which is hilarious in and of itself. Check it out–and yes, there is a food tie-in.
As soon as that first baby popping out comes with an extra 24 hrs in a day, I’ll be happy to spend that extra time raising chickens, harvesting veggies, and going to little markets 2-3 times a week, planning a wholesome, balanced diet around whatever I find that looks to be at its peak of freshness.
Peggy Orenstein had a piece this weekend in the New York Times Magazine, titled “The Femivore’s Dilemma.” She starts her article by talking about all her hip friends—cracking wise about “the Vatican of locavorism” and laughs, “Apparently it is no longer enough to know the name of the farm your eggs came from; now you need to know the name of the actual bird.”
Her feminist friends are now not just staying home to raise the kids, but finding liberation in raising chickens, growing food, and making other necessities. But her casting of backyard hobby gardening as fulfilling the holes in the lives of feminists who wanted to work, as is usual for middle-class feminists, leaves out the fact that fighting to get jobs was a goal of the privileged. Other women were already working, not for fulfillment, but for survival.
In the same way, backyard gardening, in Orenstein’s view, is a new way for feminists to find fulfillment, a way to do more work than just the housework but less work than a full-time job. Meanwhile, Warwick Sabin points out:
“It used to be that keeping a few free-range chickens, tending some grain-fed hogs, and raising a small vegetable garden was how people simply survived. Now these are often vanity projects for young hipsters and retired hedge-fund executives who have discovered the forgotten pleasures of “heirloom” tomatoes and artisanal sausage. Incredibly, we’ve reached a point in our society where things that humans have done for thousands of years—grow a vegetable, smoke or cure a piece of meat—now provide the grounds for smug satisfaction.”